After watching James Cameron’s “Avatar”, I couldn’t help but ruminate on its (overly) overt themes – corporatization of the military, pointless destruction of native peoples culture, strong-armed pillaging of natural resources, etc. The hopeful part of me wishes this film would raise the awareness level about how sadly cliché this story has actually become. Its a script that has already played out thousands of times and continues to happen even now, all around the world. Diamonds, oil, ‘unobtanium’ (gag), slug-in-a-resource.
This is an incredible modern-day story of a native people’s victory over Western globalization. Sick of seeing their environment ruined and their people exploited by the Panguna Mine, the Pacific island of Bougainville rose up against the giant mining corporation, Rio Tinto Zinc. The newly formed Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) began fighting with bows and arrows and sticks and stones against a heavily armed adversary. In an attempt to put down the rebellion the Papua New Guinean Army swiftly established a gunboat blockade around the island, backed by Australian Military personnel and equipment. With no shipments allowed in or out of the island, the People of Bougainville learned to become self-dependent and self-sustained.
A TV station in Norway decided (brilliantly) that it would be fun to film the entire length of one of their most scenic train routes in HD. All 7.5 hours of the ride. The results are stunning and hypnotic. Reminds me a lot of the Norwegian film about a retiring train conductor, O’Horten, that I projected at Telluride a couple years ago. Below is a 10-minute clip of the trip, but you can download the entire thing here.
A short skateboard video from Salazar Productions featuring, Bradley Sheppard, Alien, Nate Lacoste, Chris Connolly, Nate Roline, Stacy Gabriel, Desmond Hoostie, Mike Klinkhamer, and Rob Rickaby
Directed By Liam Mitchell
Shot By Nathan Drillot and Liam Mitchell
This is beautiful. William Trubridge’s world record freedive (without fins) at 88 meters/288 feet.
(via Briefly Noted)
My friends at the WorkBook Project are launching a new award to help indie filmmakers get a jumpstart on their distribution efforts. Got an indie film you’re just about done with? How about submitting it to win the first annual WorkBook Project Award? Submit here.
The winning filmmaker will receive a ONE week theatrical run in LA complete with PR, street team and social media support, as well as a mentoring session with an established director and/or producer.
20 films will be granted the opportunity to receive a direct digital access package to outlets such as Hulu, iTunes, Netflix etc. courtesy of WBP Award partner IndieFlix.
The final films will be reviewed by a panel consisting of well-established directors, producers, actors and film critics.
Wow. This is pretty rad/scary/wild. Kudos to this rescue team who got to their guy within minutes. What a terrifying few minutes they are, though!
Reminds me that ski season is coming up – something I never forget even though I’m stuck in the city these days! Boy, I hope to get out and do some deep powder this winter. But, don’t worry, Ma, I won’t get into this sort of mess. I hope.
While I was up at All Tomorrow’s Parties hanging out with the Criterion Collection crew and helping them run the show in the make-shift festival cinema at Kutcher’s, I had the incredible experience of getting to sit at the feet of a master: Jim Jarmusch. I was chatting with Barry, a rep for Panasonic moments before the Q&A started and as Jim walked to the front, Barry handed me a yet-to-be released brand-spankin’ new out of the box HD camera (sorry, I can’t remember the model) and said “Here, help me shoot this!” And so I did!
It was one hell of a great Q&A and I highly recommend that you click through and watch some of these vids. Wayne Coyne makes a cameo and Jim’s thoughts on cinema and art and music are some of the most eloquent I’ve heard.
These guys are doing a whole lot of right. Pants that reflect when you roll the cuffs? Sign me up.
An old friend and I used to talk about the idea of ‘pushing the button’.
Lemme esplain: say you’re planning a big life-changing travel trip – like a year in India or something – you sit there with your airline tickets all reserved and ready and you know you’re about to spend thousands of dollars and have untold wild adventures in unknown lands, yet you sit, hesitating over the mouse with your finger slightly raised and beads of sweat building around your temples.
Nervously, you finger the button, but don’t push it. You’re flirting with it. You get up, have another cup of coffee. You sit back down and the ‘complete transaction’ icon stares you in the face, but so does the ‘close browser’ button. The action to commit is so clear – just *push the button* – make friends with the unknown future, extend your hand, embrace it. And then, finally, once you do, you’ve crossed to the other side. Take a deep breath. You’ve committed and there’s no turning back. But it feels damn good. You’re all in.
Rare are the opportunities in life as clear as this. Go with it.
I spent a good portion of the weekend watching the action at the Hardcourt Bicycle Polo World Championships (won by Team Smile from Seattle). The action was intense and the crowd was way into it. Here are some of my photos, including my favorite:
The Hardcourt Bicycle Polo Federation World Championships are happening this weekend directly across the street from my house here in Philly! I’ll be able to watch from my bedroom if I wanted.
Two words for this kid: rock. star.
I already posted this on my music blog yvynyl but I gotta share with all y’all who don’t read that (yet!). This is the new music video from my pals Free Energy. The vid was directed by m ss ng p eces and shot on location at the dudes’ house party earlier this summer. I’m really in love with this song and the video – and well, as I said on yvynyl:
Philly + bikes + summertime + my neighborhood + cute kittens + my buddies’ band + a great house party + cameos of dozens of my friends (damn, i didn’t make the cut!) + one kick-ass party song makes this my favorite music video of the week. Then again, I’m biased.
The Design for Life blog posted absolutely brilliant, simple instructions for creating your own yard torches. Say goodbye to all those crappy tikis stuck in the mud. Just be careful you don’t burn your house down…
I’m absolutely going to make a few of these for my lil’ backyard patio. Yay, fun house project!
I posted about the Interviews, 50 Cents project before, but here’s a cool little trailer for the show based on some of the interviews they did during the MountainFilm Festival in Telluride, Colorado last May. Take a look for my cameo in it about half way through!
For this month’s Fiesta Movement video blog, the theme was Style and Design. Audrey and Jesse (her band mate in Hunter/Gatherer) went up to see clothing designer Rebecca Turbow who designed a line called “SAFE” and also makes a lot of stage outfits for rockstars. Check it:
It’s true that I do love the Ford Fiesta I’ve been driving around for the past couple of months, but my favorite car of all time has to be a yellow Honda Civic circa 1980. Not sure why, but it’s always held a big ol’ soft spot in my heart. My neighbor had one when I was a kid and I just loved the look and sound of that machine. Ever since then, I’ve always gone for cars with crazy colors and a hatchback.
(via The New York Times – For Honda in America, 50 Years of Going Its Own Direction)
Much to my delight, a great new restaurant – Elevation Burger – just opened within a few steps of my work. So this place, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit, is a chain. However, it’s a very small (~10 restaurants and growing) chain with organic fast food, baby! I know, it’s a bit of an oxymoron, but if you can bury away your inner ideologue, you’re going to totally enjoy it. 100% organic, grass-fed beef burgers make eating ‘em just all that much less guilt-ridden. Plus, they have some killer vegan and veggie burger options and olive oil-fried french fries. Add on super friendly kids working there and a clean, well-designed aesthetic and you’ve got a combo for one hell of a cool burger joint. Check ‘em out.